David Kestenbaum

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.

In his years at NPR, David has covered science's discoveries and its darker side, including the Northeast blackout, the anthrax attacks and the collapse of the New Orleans levees. He has also reported on energy issues, particularly nuclear and climate change.

David has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

David worked briefly on the show This American Life, and set up a radio journalism program in Cambodia on a Fulbright fellowship. He also teaches a journalism class at Johns Hopkins University.

David holds a bachelor's of science degree in physics from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from Harvard University.

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1:25am

Fri September 28, 2012
Planet Money

He Won't Tell You His Name, But He'll Help You Hide Your Money

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Meet Adam Wolf*, your asset protection adviser. (*Not his real name.)
via Global Wealth Protection

We set up our shell companies. Then we wondered: What do people actually do with shell companies?

One popular use, it turns out, is what professionals call "asset protection." Ordinary people call this "hiding money."

Maybe you're a surgeon worried a patient might sue you and take everything you have. Or you want to hide money from your ex (or your soon-to-be ex).

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1:32am

Thu September 20, 2012
Planet Money

Insurance Companies Send Out Rebate Checks; Economists Get Nervous

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:41 pm

iStockphoto.com

Nearly 13 million Americans have gotten, or will soon be getting, rebates from their health insurance companies. This is because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that's supposed to force insurance companies to run better.

But while the idea of getting a check from your health insurance company may sound great, some economists worry this rule could actually make health insurance more expensive.

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12:37pm

Fri September 14, 2012
Planet Money

Even If You're All-Powerful, It's Hard To Fix The Economy

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:43 pm

This guy lives in a computer. Can you get him a job?
Walt Disney Pictures The Kobal Collection

The world inside Mark Zandi's computer model feels pretty familiar. It's full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They're paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can't find jobs.

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1:42pm

Mon August 27, 2012
Planet Money

A Father Of High-Speed Trading Thinks We Should Slow Down

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 1:54 pm

Thomas Peterffy, shown here in 2010
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

First, three stories from Thomas Peterffy's life as a trader:

Story #1:

When Peterffy was a kid growing up in communist Hungary in the 1950s his buddy went to Austria and brought back a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. Peterffy bought the pack, broke the sticks of gum up into little pieces, and sold them at a profit. The principal at his school was not amused. "Where's your communist conscience?" the principal asked.

Not surprisingly, given story #1, Peterffy moved to the U.S. as a young man.

Story #2:

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2:24pm

Fri July 27, 2012
Planet Money

Losing With LIBOR: One Trader's Story

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 4:02 pm

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

We've been talking a lot lately about what's been dubbed the "LIBOR rate fixing scandal," where some of the biggest banks in the world have been accused of manipulating a key global interest rate.

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